Have you seen that TV show about the cops who were investigating a drug operation? You know the one I’m talking about. There was money laundering, corrupt politicians, street-level crime and a mysterious foreign drug dealer?
No, I’m talking about the Trump administration.
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have indicted five suspects alleging that the men violated campaign finance laws by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to political action committees associated with the Donald Trump campaign. The Wall Street Journal report that individuals were involved in a scheme to sell drugs, launder money and influence politicians.
The indictment names four men and one unnamed suspect:
- Lev “Stringer Bell” Parnas, a Ukraine-born businessman and U.S citizen;
- Igor Fruman, a U.S. citizen born in Belarus who was the Avon Barksdale of the operation
- Andrey “Marlo Stanfield” Kukushkin, a Ukraine-born businessman and U.S citizen;
- David “Proposition Joe” Correia, a U.S. citizen and businessman; and
- Foreign National-1, a Russian businessman who is not a resident or citizen of the U.S. who is essentially “The Greek” from Season 2 of The Wire.
According to prosecutors, Parnas and Fruman, who had no history of making political donations, created a shell company to “advance their own financial interests and the interests of Ukranian government officials.” Starting in March 2018, the group donated $400,000 to Republican campaigns, which apparently got Parnas an invitation to the White House on May 1, 2018. To keep himself “under the radar,” Fruman intentionally spelled his name incorrectly on Federal Election Commission forms.
On May 21, 2018, the Barksdale Crew gave America First Action $325,000 at a fundraising breakfast with Donald Trump Jr. and Tommy Hicks Jr., who was in charge of the Trump-associated PAC. They were so brazen that Parnas posted a photo of their “criminal fucking conspiracy” after they donated to the super PAC.
The men also then met with then-Rep. Pete “Snoop” Sessions (R-Texas) and pledged to raise at least $20,000 for the lawmaker who had already received $3 million dollars from First Action. The duo then donated $11,000 and another $2,700 after asking Sessions to help them remove Marie Yovanovitch, Ambassador to Ukraine, because she was “bad-mouthing” the president. Days later, Sessions sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asking that Yovanovitch be removed.
Wait—we haven’t even gotten to the good part.
Prosecutors also say that Fruman and Parnas hooked up with Correia and Kuskin to help the secret Russian dude obtain recreational marijuana licenses “in particular states, including Nevada.” Backed by the Russian oligarch, aka “The Greek,” the collective planned to lobby state and federal politicians while concealing the anonymous Russian’s involvement. After meeting with two Nevada politicians (probably Clay Davis and Tommy Carcetti), U.S. Attorneys say the Russian “Greek” wired $500,000 dollars to his corner boy lobbying crew on two separate occasions.
Campaign finance laws prohibit foreign nationals from donating in federal political campaigns and expressly forbid “straw donors,” or political donors who donate in another person’s name.
How does Rudy, “Mo Levy” Giuliani fit into all of this?
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Since late 2018, Mr. Fruman and Mr. Parnas have introduced Mr. Giuliani to several current and former senior Ukrainian prosecutors to discuss the Biden case.
Mr. Parnas in July accompanied Mr. Giuliani to a breakfast meeting with Kurt Volker, then the U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations. “We had a long conversation about Ukraine,” Mr. Volker wrote in his testimony to House committees last week. During that breakfast, Mr. Giuliani mentioned the investigations he was pursuing into Mr. Biden and 2016 election interference.
House committees last month sought documents and depositions from Messrs. Parnas and Fruman related to their interactions with the Trump administration, Mr. Giuliani and Ukrainian officials. The initial notice from the committees set the dates for their depositions as Thursday and Friday.
But they were arrested before they got a chance to testify.
Parnas, who has known Rudy Giuliani for years, has worked closely with the former mayor/vampire to convince Ukraine officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, the New York Times reports. Parnas, Kukushkin and Fruman have been arrested on two counts of conspiracy, one count of falsification of records and one count of lying to the FEC about their political donations.
David Correia remains at large.
When asked for comment, Trump, who managed to steal an election with the help of his crew explained it best: